Having a mouth filled with damaged teeth or cavities can decrease your self-esteem. Tarheel Family Dentistry offers dental fillings as a cosmetic option to repair your damaged teeth or fill your cavities. Dental fillings will not only help improve your smile – it will increase your confidence as well.
What is the Dental Filling Procedure?
First, the dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the affected area around the tooth or teeth to be filled. Depending on the size of the cavity or the extent of the decay, he or she may choose a drill, air abrasion instrument or a laser to remove the decayed area. Once the decay has been removed, the area will be cleaned of all bacteria and debris. Next, the filling will be matched to the color of your teeth. A blue light (curing light) is used to harden the layers. Finally, the filling will be shaped and trimmed of any excess material and then polished. The procedure can be completed with one office visit.
What are the Types of Dental Fillings?
There are many types of dental fillings, but the most commonly used are:
- Silver Amalgam Fillings (made of silver, tin, zinc, copper, and mercury; strong and long lasting; may expand and cause tooth cracks or spaces between other teeth)
- Composite Fillings (made of resin and plastic material; best for color matching; is not long lasting)
- Ceramic Fillings (made of porcelain; resistant to stains and abrasions; brittle material)
- Glass Ionomer Fillings (made of glass and acrylic; good for children; more likely to crack or wear)
Inlays and Onlays
If your tooth decay or damage is considered significant or affecting your ability to chew properly, your dentist may recommend the placement of an inlay or onlay. Also known as partial crowns, these are considered indirect restorations and will require two visits to complete.
The first visit will include tooth preparation and dental impressions. Your custom restoration will be manufactured in a dental lab to Dr. Cook ’s specifications. Once complete, you will return to the office for final placement. At this time, we will permanently secure the inlay or onlay to restore your smile and your oral health.
Dental Filling Aftercare
Continue with your oral hygiene plan. Make routine visits for cleanings. Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day. Be sure to use fluoride toothpaste and antibacterial mouthwash.
Dr. Sarah Cook and the team at Tarheel Family Dentistry will restore your smile. Dental fillings are only one of the many cosmetic options offered to our patients. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.